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Chapter 3. Developing the Content > Finding out what your client needs from sit...

Finding out what your client needs from site visitors

Before you launch your favorite HTML editor, you've got to do your homework and find out as much as possible about your client and the type of Web site she envisions. If you've already designed sites for similar clients, your knowledge can help guide the client when she's at a loss for answers. Ask your client what her goals are for the site. Get your client to go into detail concerning site goals. Learn as much as you can about her business, and make sure to take copious notes. The following are a few questions you can ask your client to clarify her goals:

  • Does your client want to sell goods to visitors? If so, will the client rely on the site as an online catalog and have personnel fill orders via phone, or will the site be a full‐blown, e‐commerce site on a secure server?

  • Does your client want to inform visitors? If the client has an established bricks‐and‐mortar business that is profitable, she can use a Web site to cut down on overhead. For example, instead of giving out catalogs, the client can provide product specifications on the Web site — which eliminates mailing and printing costs. It can also cut down on the number of personnel needed to staff the phones.

  • Does your client want a service‐oriented site? Clients use service‐oriented sites to answer frequently asked questions from customers, handle service issues, and so on.

  • Does your client want repeat visitors? If so, you have to design a site that gives visitors a reason to return. You also have to tell your client that the site must be updated frequently in order for visitors to return.

  • Does your client want to collect contact information to keep visitors apprised of new information about his products or services?

  • Does your client want to frequently update the site? If so, negotiate a separate contract for ongoing updates. If the client wants to update the site, create the site using templates that have locked areas that the client can't edit. If your client updates the site, we strongly advise you to suggest that the client use Adobe Contribute to do that.

  • Does your client want to maintain ongoing communication with site visitors?

Tell your client when his goals require technology or design elements that exceed his budget. If your client insists on using these elements, give him the price for the additional elements and be prepared to write an addendum to your contract.


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